4 Tips to Help You Keep Your Braces and Teeth Clean

One of the orthodontic treatments you may need as an adult is braces. Braces are not only for kids. The team at McGill Orthodontics may recommend braces for you because they can deliver an attractive smile, enable the straightening of the teeth discreetly, and help avoid dental complications. For instance, misaligned teeth often exert pressure on adjacent teeth and jaw, and with time, that can lead to a crooked smile, speech impairment, and chewing difficulty.

Keeping your mouth and teeth clean and healthy becomes harder when wearing braces. That is because the wires and brackets of your braces promote the accumulation of food debris and harmful bacteria. Therefore, you should clean over, around, beneath, and through the wires, brackets, and bands fastened to your teeth to remove traces of food particles and bacteria that may cause staining, tooth decay, gingivitis, and bad breath. Knowing how to clean your braces thoroughly can also ensure they last longer.

Consequently, below are a few effective tips that can help you maintain clean braces and healthy oral hygiene.

  1. The right toothbrush

Your orthodontist will recommend that you use a toothbrush with soft bristles, enabling the removal of food particles and bacteria stuck between the enamel and braces. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are also excellent since when they are in contact with your gums, they do not cause irritation that can lead to swelling or bleeding.

Hold the soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45° angle as you brush your teeth and gums to promote cleaning of the whole tooth. Clean the front and back surfaces of your teeth, the gum line, and the tongue surface, which is vital for mashing solid foods and starting the act of swallowing.

Remember to brush your teeth after every meal to avoid the accumulation of plaque and tartar. You can use a mirror to check if you have dislodged food particles and other substances around and under your braces.

  1. Protect your teeth

Various bad habits may harm your teeth and braces. For instance, you should avoid biting hard objects, using your teeth as a tool, nail-biting, smoking, and teeth grinding. Do not use your teeth for holding something, cutting off a price tag, or opening a bottle if you do not want to injure and crack your teeth and jaw.

The cracking or shifting of your teeth may also result from chewing inanimate objects such as an eyeglass or a pencil, especially when you are nervous.

Wear a mouth guard if you suffer from bruxism, which is unconscious teeth grinding when awake or during sleep. Also, wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or physical activities such as basketball, hockey, boxing, cycling, and football. A mouth injury while wearing braces may worsen your dental condition and dislodge your braces.

  1. Eat safe diet

Avoid hard foods like nuts and candies, which can twist the wires of your braces and cause damage. Also, avoid sticky and acidic foods and drinks. Sticky foods may get trapped on your braces and teeth, leading to plaque and tartar buildup.

  1. Regular dental checkups

During your orthodontic treatment, protect your braces and maintain a healthy smile by visiting your dentist regularly. Your dentist will monitor your oral health and thoroughly clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar.